Divorce judge bans father from seeing daughter, 3, unless he gets Covid vaccine

New York County Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper blocked a father from visiting daughter, 3, amid a custody dispute unless he gets vaccinated against Covid-19 (Pictures: AP/NY Unified Court System)

A judge’s ruling has blocked a father from seeing his three-year-old daughter in the midst of a custody dispute, unless he gets vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The father, whose identity has not been revealed, saw his daughter every other weekend until a custody dispute with her mother recently came to bear.

New York County Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper ruled that the father would not be allowed to see his daughter unless he gets vaccinated or submits Covid-19 test results weekly, according to the Daily Mail.

‘Here, in-person parental access by defendant is not in the child’s best interests, and there are exceptional circumstances that support its suspension,’ wrote Cooper, who is presiding over the divorce.

‘The dangers of voluntarily remaining unvaccinated during access with a child while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat to children’s health and safety cannot be understated.’

The father is required to be fully vaccinated or provide a PCR test weekly. He also must get a biweekly antigen test within 24 hours of visiting his daughter every other weekend.

‘Unfortunately, and to my mind, incomprehensibly, a sizable minority, seizing upon misinformation, conspiracy theories, and muddled notions of “individual liberty”, have refused all entreaties to be vaccinated,’ Cooper wrote.

The father’s attorney Lloyd Rosen argued that Cooper’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent.

‘My client is not a conspiracy theorist,’ Rosen said. ‘He has concerns about the vaccine. He’s heard about side effects. He once had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine.’ 

But the mother’s lawyer Evan Schein lauded Cooper’s ruling.

‘It’s an incredibly important one that highlights the extraordinary times we are living in and reinforces that a child’s best interests are paramount,’ Schein told the New York Post.

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